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Old 05-25-2019, 04:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: SF Bay Area
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Will allowing cannabis at music venues change rock music again?

Haven't posted here in ages. Am a classic rock old guy.

In the not too distant future, cannabis in some legal states will begin to increasingly allow consumption of cannabis at music venues and concerts. How do you think that may change rock music? Please no discussion of cannabis itself beyond how the high makes music enjoyable or any legalization issues but rather how due to the way it can affect the perception of music it may affect change. A key opinion I have is that I think smoking weed can affect the kind of music one prefers. Although all music can be enhanced by cannabis because it increases aural sensitivity, rock music plays to loud and powerful perceptual enjoyment.

I lived the whole classic rock era as an adult in the San Francisco Bay Area. Had gone to endless clubs and concerts venues though most was during the classic years. There was a period here in this era when weed and acid were about the only substances being used at Bay Area rock events and IMO that to some extent shaped the kind music being played and acclaimed.

In that era people at concert venues smoked weed discretely though openly though less so at clubs. San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland was where at concert venues one could light up without worrying about being busted that in that era while it was still very much a felony thus deadly serious for we counterculture people. The reason that evolved so was that in that era most concerts did not have seating but rather people could enjoy a show wherever they chose and additionally there were never seats set up in front of stages but rather people stood.

youtube dot com/watch?v=LQcUrJ4BsYE

And that is where we counterculture folks were safe because if one is in a dense mob of people in front of a stage, police on say the periphery could not do anything without causing a panic or riot. Of course that is exactly what happened in some places like Los Angeles where they first tried to go into crowds but found it made the situation far worse and nailing anyone in that early period without video cameras was impossible as a people could simply drop whatever contraband and paraphernalia. Thus out here in our enlightened SFBA they learned to assume a hands off approach and were quick to learn we young people didn't cause problems but rather just wanted to enjoy music. Similar hands off policies were also common during that early period at college campus shows and slowly over time allowing discrete weed smoking became more common across the US as police came to adopt similar hands off policy. That lasted until seating in front of stages became common as concerts in general began to be organized by for profit media corps.

When I began regularly going to Fillmore West (old Crystal Ballroom on Market Street) about 1970 there were at least 3 or 4 touring bands playing each night over 4 or 5 nights a week. And yeah for the $5 entrance fee it was smoky inside. Little alcohol was consumed or snuck in. Many young twentysomethings like this person were actually not alcohol oriented and weed helped separate us from mainstream others. Some touring bands playing the first time would comment on how great the vibe was so open.

Over years as rock concerts became big money things changed. First the SFBA became a Mecca for counterculture others from across the country, so by mid 70s a lot more drugs began to appear especially harder drugs like speed, coke, plus alcohol as people from those outside areas brought in their own habits. Because of illegality venues were left to focus on selling alcohol that was already the way clubs made money and that increasingly became dominant while cannabis use decreased.

In states like California and Nevada that are allowing recreational cannabis use and starting to allow lounges and event use, one thing they have gotten right is not allowing alcohol to be consumed at those same event areas. And that is significant because music perception with cannabis, a hallucinogen, alone will be better than mixing such with alcohol, a depressant. Rather caffeine plus weed is the better combination. So I see a day when people that have grown up mostly drinking beer when they experience rock concerts will rediscover what we now old timers lived and how it is a more enjoyable experience. And hopefully more venues will also learn that concerts without seating in front of stages is a much more exciting and free.
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